Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cloth Diapering a Toddler

I'm quickly discovering that cloth diapering a toddler is different that cloth diapering a baby.

The first year of our cloth diapering journey was simple!  We just chose a diaper we liked, established a simple wash routine and went on our way.  I had heard tales from other cloth diapering mamas struggling to find the perfect wash routine and I always felt bad for them, but I was thankful that we didn't have any trouble! 

Well, come to find out, although some people do experience struggles early on, a lot of problems arise once baby enters todderhood. 

Right around the time Jack hit a year old we started having trouble with leaks overnight and sometimes at nap time.  When he was a young baby we were using his bumGenius 3.0s stuffed with the one-size microfiber insert for both day and night time.  Easy peasy.  Eventually, he got to the point where he needed more absorbancy overnight so we started stuffing his night dipes with the one-size microfiber insert plus the smaller microfiber doubler the diapers came with.  This worked for a while, but then suddenly it seemed that nothing worked.  He leaked more often than not and I found myself trying to find an overnight solution for a heavy wetter.

bumGenius 3.0

Microfiber doubler on left.
One-size microfiber insert on right.
Photo Source.

After trying a few different things (including a new style of diaper - a fitted diaper with a wool cover, which is supposed to be a bulletproof option for overnight.  Jack promptly leaked straight through!) we found that the winning combo for us was his BG 3.0s stuffed with the one-size microfiber inserts plus two large Joey Bunz Hemparoos.

Joey Bunz Hemparoos in Large, Medium, and Small.

That's  A LOT of absorbancy, but that's what he needed.  Once we shoved three full size inserts into his poor diaper the absorbancy was right (and his hiney was big!), but it was causing a little bit of a gap in the legs and we'd still have occasional leaks as a result of that.  Within the last 2 months or so, it seems Jack has had a growth spurt or something which has eliminated the gap which previously existed so finally NO MORE LEAKS!  Yay!

In addition to a better fit on his overstuffed night dipes, I feel like he actually doesn't wake up quite as wet in the mornings.  I think this probably has to do with him getting bigger, but still taking in about the same amount of liquid in a given day so proportionally he's drinking less than he was when he was smaller.  Make sense?  I don't know, but all I care about is waking up to a dry baby in the mornings!

Anyone who has trouble with leaks like we did (and is frustrated, like we were), I definitely recommend that you try some form of hemp.  It's super absorbent, relatively trim, AND the nice bonus is hemp has natural antibacterial properties so you won't end up with any of The Stinkies, which often occur with microfiber.  Also, it's an environmentally friendly option because as a crop, among other things,  it's naturally resistant to disease and insects, which eliminates the need for pesticides and herbicides!

So, cloth diaperers, be aware that you baby's needs will change as they grow and your mission is to keep up with their changing needs!  This may take some trial and error, but there are a lot of options out there and you WILL find something that works for you.

Or your baby's needs will just change again and you'll be looking for a solution for something else.  Right now we're battling ammonia and trying to find a new working wash routine.  It's definitely the most frustrating cloth diaper related thing I've delt with to date.

Suggestions on how to handle this situation are welcome!  Except for recommending Tide, I'm aware that this is really popular right now, but I'd like to only switch to that as a last resort.  :D


  1. We used two JoeyBunz from pretty early on! Cameron was a heavy wetter, Fletcher not so much. Our issues with toddler diapering was the poop, ughghgh. Cam NEVER had a turd. Ever. It was always just, a huge mess. Once we PT'd him at two, we realized he does have solid poops, just really soft ones, that turn to absolute mush in a diaper. TMI, much?! LOL But yeah, he was waking up a few times a week with a horrid diaper and so it was imperative that he PT. ;) Now Fletcher is entering that stage (can you tell my kids get a lot of produce/fiber?!) and ughghgh again. My pregnant self cannot handle it.

  2. Ick! Thankfully, that has not been our experience - at least not yet! I can count on one hand the number of times that it's been REALLY messy and hard to deal with. How do you ready dirty diapers like that for the pail? Do you use a sprayer? I don't, but it seems like if we had diapers like that all the time it would be a good thing to invest in!

  3. It would have been a good investment, and I may still get one, as I still have Fletcher and the New One to get through. :-P Honestly, with Cam we had to scrape them with a plastic butter knife. Yeah. Fletcher's are even less solid at the moment, I just shake his a lot so the fruit skins fall off and hope for the best. Maybe use an extra wash cycle. Can't handle scraping right now. I need to stop buying blueberries, lol.

    I fear you may lose readers over these comments. ;)

  4. Bahahaa! I know, it's funny what becomes common discussion once you're a mom. I never thought I'd be one of those people to discuss poo in-depth, but when it's a fairly large part of your everyday life... well, it's just on your mind! :D


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